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Vikings deal defensive end Stephen Weatherly to Broncos for seventh-round pick

NFL: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Stephen Weatherly (91) in action during the game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings traded defensive end Stephen Weatherly to the Denver Broncos on Saturday for a 2022 seventh-round pick. The Vikings also included a 2023 seventh-round selection to get the pick in next April’s draft. The Vikings announced the trade but not the terms. The Broncos, however, confirmed the entire transaction.

Weatherly, 27, was a seventh-round pick of the Vikings in 2016 and spent his first four seasons in Minnesota before signing a two-year $12.5 million deal with Carolina as a free agent in 2020. Weatherly battled injuries and had no sacks in nine games after having a combined six over the previous two years.

Weatherly was let go by Carolina and returned to the Vikings on a one-year, $1.5 million contract last March. D.J. Wonnum beat out Weatherly during training camp for the starting position at right defensive end and the addition of Everson Griffen pushed him down the depth chart. He had nine tackles and one tackle for a loss in the Vikings’ first six games. Weatherly played a season-high 29 defensive snaps in Week 2 but had 8, 13, 7 and 8 in the four games since.

The deal between the Vikings and Broncos is not a surprise. Broncos general manager George Paton spent several years as the top assistant to Vikings GM Rick Spielman before taking the Denver job last offseason.